jen groeber: mama art

4 kids in 3 years: reflections on motherhood, art and life.

On Writing (A Blog Hop)

I did something crazy. I agreed to join a blog hop with a posse of amazingly cool bloggers. I literally thought to myself, “This is awe-some! The kids go to day camp on Monday, so I can totally write and post this thing Monday… or maybe Tuesday…”

Meredith

Meredith

The bloggess in question? Meredith from Perfection Pending, an early blog-crush. She writes about her three cute kids (of course) and her life as a stay-at-home Mom, but amidst the joy of easy meals and cute pin-able ideas, she’s really writing about being human, growing, laughing, loving. You know, the little things. Her latest post, How to Let Your Kids Help in 34 Simple Steps had me laughing out loud and What Does Bravery Look Like When You’re a Mom had me feeling the chokey voice.

Anyway, Emily from Girl Always Interrupted tagged her and Carisa Miller tagged her and Amy Flory from Funny is Family tagged her and Stephanie Jankowski from When Crazy Meets Exhaustion tagged her and so on and so on, like a Faberge Shampoo commercial without all the feathered hair. Or maybe it’s like six degrees of Kevin Bacon. He may have even written the first post. (I dare you to check.)

image

And she’ll tell a friend and she’ll tell a friend…

Here are the questions: Why do I write? What does my writing process look like? Why am I different than other writers? What am I working on?

Now that it’s time for me to actually write though, the thought of this gives me that feeling I get when my seven-year-old son says to me, “What are you doing? Working on your blo-o-og?” And he says “blog” in this way that sounds sort of snarky, and makes me feel kind of attention-seeking or (worse yet) lazy. Like when my husband pops by midday to pick up something he forgot, and just when he walks in I’ve sat down to write for five minutes but I haven’t done the breakfast dishes or emptied the dishwasher yet. I mean, he’s not judging me, we both know I mostly never sit down. Yet I’m judging me. Who do I think I am sitting down in the middle of the day like that?

But writing feels like something I need to do. Like the words and ideas burble up and up and I have to empty it all out or I’ll choke on the words. And occasionally I can’t figure out why I feel what I feel. Like the day I just kept thinking, “I don’t like seven-year-old boys. I don’t like seven-year-old boys.” Until I finally sat and wrote about it and I realized that I kind of feel bad for seven-year-old boys. I mean, being that snarky and having such outlandishly big feet for the size of your legs… that can’t be fun. Am I right?

image

Pretty cute… for a 7-year-old boy
July 2014

And so I sit in my son’s car line and write down things like, “Diana Nyad swimmer; help our kids succeed; Reid hates herself,” or “I was born naked. But I guess that goes without saying.” Then I stay up way too late at night turning those fragments into something whole. Or I stand, typing away at my computer desk while simultaneously pouring milk, wiping butts and putting people into time out.

Sometimes it seems I’m writing solely for me, but other times, I’m pretty sure I’m writing for my kids, so they can see that I cared, that I thought about things. When I asked my mother how old I was when I started to walk or talk, she said I raised myself. And as an “average” child in a family of disability, I can see how this may actually be pretty much how it felt. But it’s impossible. Someone must have held my hand at some point, right?

I began writing a blog so that I would record the time I took my kids to a farm to pet the animals, so that they would know that I did that for them like my mother never did for me. And while I was looking through old photos of my sisters to prove that they went to the petting zoo without me, I found this.

Jennie, sister, sister, Mom and goat 1973

Jennie, sister, sister, Mom and goat
1973

Yup, me at the petting zoo. My mother did these things for me, braided my hair, trimmed my bangs, taught me to walk, brought me to the petting zoo. But if she doesn’t remember and I don’t remember, it’s like it barely even happened. And I wanted this time in their lives to have happened; I wanted this time in my life to have happened.

In some ways this all makes me just like all the other bloggers out there, and that’s okay. I write about being a mother to my children, growing up in a family with disabilities, being an artist. And lots of people write about these things. Sometimes I’m a smart-acre and sometimes I’m reflective, but usually I’m both. I aspire to be David Sedaris’, Anne Lamott’s, Erma Bombeck’s and Barbara Kingsolver’s love child. Which is both kinky and true, and hopefully might make my writing somewhat unique in a sort of derivative-orgy kind of way.

Coming up on my one year blog-o-versary I’d planned to start writing that book I’ve been saying I wanted to write. And maybe I’ll get a show of my prints. Perhaps I’ll clean out my closet. Or my refrigerator. Or my kids’ drawers. Who knows?! The possibilities are endless.

But one thing is guaranteed. I’m going to keep living this slightly crazy life as a mother, wife, daughter, artist, writer. I’m going to make lists and try to cross things off. I’m going to keep living, living, living this time to its fullest. And hopefully, I’ll continue to capture these swiftly fleeting days, one memory at a time.

image

Cheers!
July 2014

 

 

 

image

Image by Brenda Keesal and Sara Lomas
(I told you she was awesome.)

Now to tag our next blogging Queen, Brenda Keesal from Burns the Fire. She’s a film-maker, poet, artist, blogger extraordinaire. She’s such a good writer, I stalk her comments on other people’s blogs because even her comments are divine. She was Freshly Pressed for Gabriel Garcia Marquez Saved My Life, which was so well-written, I scrapped what I had written about GGM. Because her writing will make you do that sometimes. In A Family Tree she wrote about her Dad with such stunning prose it’ll take your breath away. Go check her out. Really. She’s worth it.

And then she’ll tell a friend. And she’ll tell a friend. And so on. And so on.

Advertisements

24 comments on “On Writing (A Blog Hop)

  1. Burns the Fire
    July 29, 2014

    How much talent can one body hold? You write your ass off, Jen, and we, not just your kids and their legacy, are better for it. Thanks for the lovely tag. More soon, my bloggy friend. xx

    • jgroeber
      July 30, 2014

      You tell me how much talent one body can hold, because you are a master of so much. Thanks for supporting and inspiring and being your artsy, funky, brilliantly creative self. I love the people I’ve met through this blogging thing. So amazing. Looking forward to your take on why you write! xox

  2. litadoolan
    July 30, 2014

    I love this post. I have never tried a blog hop and this is first one I have read. It’s inspiring so thank you! Lovely ending ;-D

    • jgroeber
      August 8, 2014

      Thank you! I’m horrible about blog awards and honors. The answering of questions as the award is received feels so awkward somehow. But talking about why I write and then passing the torch to a blogger I love? Such fun! And having people interested is the icing on the cake, so thank you!

  3. Perfection Pending
    July 30, 2014

    Thanks so much for participating Jen!! I was at a horrible camp for teenage girls as one of the leaders in charge. It rained the whole time and I got a cold. SO…yeah, it was a blast. Just now saw this post, and I love it. Your reasons for writing remind me so much of how I feel about trying to hang on to my kid’s childhood. I have a messy memory at best, and rarely can pull out a happy memory from my childhood, so I don’t want to give my child a blank stare when they asked if they ever went to the petting zoo. I want my hundreds of pictures, blogs, and scrapbooks, to show that my life during this time was lived for them. Sounds like you’re doing the same. Thanks so much again! You’re the best. Can’t wait to check out your recommendation!!

    • jgroeber
      August 8, 2014

      Thank you for tagging me! Burns the Fire is just stunning. And you need to check out her tag, David Dixon. It’s so cool to see how the blog hop twists and turns in such interesting directions!
      And I wonder what makes this so, our desire to hold onto these days somehow. But it’s undeniable.

    • donofalltrades
      August 14, 2014

      ^^Um, this one, this one up here? She complains a LOT! Lol. I love Meridith. She was on of the first people to ever read my stupid blog and I remember thinking that she would read a couple of posts, shake her head in disgust and I’d never see her again. I was judging her Mormanness I guess. She’s stayed though! You have, haven’t you? I haven’t seen you in my comments section in a bit, so maybe you did finally leave. Lol. Anyway, I’m glad to have found you too, Jen. You have the certain something something that I’m drawn to. It’s not quite crazy, but it’s something. Oh, and I was totally born naked as well! Maybe on that exact day you were at the petting zoo even.

      • Perfection Pending
        August 14, 2014

        Of course I’m still here. I’m just not blogging as much as I used to. So not visiting as many either, but Don you’re still one of my favs!!

      • jgroeber
        August 14, 2014

        Why, hello, Don. Fancy meeting you here in Meredith’s comment… I’m an uber-liberal East Coaster and I think she’s the bomb-diggity. I thought I’d judge her adorableness and Super-Mom-status but I’ve forgiven her that.
        And I think I followed you but in my reader? Which I don’t even understand. All kinds of garbage ends up there. So I re-followed yesterday to my actual e-mail. You may be sorry. I can’t read something without commenting. It’s like tagging a wall (not that I was ever a graffiti artist, Officer.)
        And thanks for the props. You always hit the right note, somewhere between buffoon and brilliance.

  4. Leslie Newlin
    July 30, 2014

    I couldn’t enjoy your posts more, even as a childless newlywed! I hope to be as dedicated a mother as you are for your kiddos someday, and as sassy 🙂 Congrats on your 1st anniversary of blogging and BEST of luck on your book!

    • jgroeber
      August 8, 2014

      Ha! Thank you! Such kindness… Enjoy those newlywed days. They are the foundation on which your cuckoo crooked house may someday be built!

  5. Anna Spanos
    July 31, 2014

    I can’t believe it’s been a year already! (Geesh, how old does that make me?) Congrats, and glad you’re still at it!

    • jgroeber
      August 8, 2014

      Well, it’s officially a year on October 1st, but who’s counting?!
      And that would still make you significantly younger than me. So congratulations yourself!

  6. Jenn Berney
    July 31, 2014

    Oh, I hate getting caught sitting at my computer when the dishes haven’t been done, because usually I’m procrastinating, and then my partner asks me what I’m doing, and I want to say “working” or “writing” but a quick look at the screen would reveal that I’m actually reading a list of the best text message auto-corrects of all time.

    • jgroeber
      August 8, 2014

      Ha! Yes, exactly! To be caught scrolling through “Top 100 Over-40 Celebrity Moms in Bikinis” (to see how I compare, of course… which by the way,is not good.) The shame.
      But my question is,is it actually procrastinating or is it a desperate need to do something, anything, that does not involve children? Like funny autocorrects…

  7. Aussa Lorens
    August 5, 2014

    I love that you write notes like “Diana Nyad swimmer; help our kids succeed; Reid hates herself,” or “I was born naked. But I guess that goes without saying.” I sometimes worry what people would think if they got ahold of my iPhone and the incredibly bizarre little things I jot down to myself.

    • jgroeber
      August 8, 2014

      The question is, when does it go from the absurd incomprehensible scribble to the blog-worthy post? Ha!

  8. mollytopia
    August 5, 2014

    What a cool peek into your mind about your writing. You inspire me. Thanks for the introduction to the other bloggers in this post. I’m going to check them next : )

    • jgroeber
      August 8, 2014

      You inspire me! And if you haven’t checked out Brenda at Burns the Fire, you have got to check her out. And David Dixon who she tagged is just… words escape me. Just, yes.
      You’re a rock star for reading. Thank you.

  9. Margie S
    August 7, 2014

    So happy to have found your blog! I actually only follow one other, and it is a cooking one, Gluten- Free Goddess ( I put that in there in the spirit of blog hopping). I will continue to read every last one of them because you are so worthy!! When you do write that book, I will be one of the first in line to purchase. Happy Anniversary and hopefully, you will keep on blogging:)

    • jgroeber
      August 8, 2014

      Aw shucks. Thank you. Ran into a P-Mama who said shed heard all about my blog… from you! Having people interested in these strange little stories has been such a wonderful surprise. And I promise to bang on your door and make you buy my book. 😉

  10. Problems With Infinity
    August 30, 2015

    I totally agree with you that “writing feels like something I need to do.” I just started blogging a few months ago, but now it feels like a critical part of maintaining my sanity!

    And if you’re David Sedaris’, Anne Lamott’s, Erma Bombeck’s and Barbara Kingsolver’s love child, then I want to be your best friend please!

    • jgroeber
      August 30, 2015

      I was wondering how in the world you found me here at this (fairly) old post. And then I realized it was the love child thing. Because you are apparently Ghandi’s and Bigfoot’s love child (although your mother disagrees and likes watching birds… I read that somewhere.)
      I can’t believe you just started blogging recently. Your writing is gorgeously hilarious and you have a billion followers (although they may be reading you because they’re looking for Bigfoot or perhaps you’re pulling in the Smurf crowd, too?)
      And alas, the key word is aspire. I aspire to be their love child. Most days I don’t even feel like they’d let me have a play date with their love child.
      But that won’t stop me from sitting on their front porch throwing rocks at their cat.

What? I'm totally listening. Tell me. No, really, tell me.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,318 other followers

Follow jen groeber: mama art on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: